Hey, Razzball faithful! With the All Star game officially in the books, and no regular DFS article for MarmosDad to grace your eyeballs with, I asked Truss if I could put together something else for you to peruse while we wait for the Thursday games to start. 

I went back and forth between doing a deep dive on some of the all star players that should keep producing during the second half (Alejandro Kirk, Rafael Devers, Shohei Ohtani, Sandy Alcantara) and focusing in on some of the same group that are due for some regression (sorry Tony Gonsolin and Joc Pederson). Then I figured that a lot of you already knew enough about the all-stars and was wondering what might make for a decent read to help out your roto-rosters for the second half. But where could I glean such important information for the second half?

Low and behold! Grey’s Top 100 for the Second Half arrived on Monday (and was discussed at length with B-Don on this week’s pod).

For this one, I’ll outline some of the players that Grey ranked in his list, (numbered rankings in parentheses), along with some that may help you during the final months of the season that might have been left out of those coveted 100 slots. 

But most importantly I’ll say here, and Grey mentioned this a few times too, in your standard 12 team roto redraft leagues any list like this is fluid and can be shuffled around based on your specific team needs or player production from week to week. If you are 30 saves behind the next place in the standings, but only 20 behind in home runs, RBIs, and runs scored, then a top flight closer won’t help you as much as that one big bat that can produce in multiple categories. Need help with WHIP and ERA? Don’t look at those closers either. That’s where you might be able to pick up some wins and claw some percentage points away at ratios with an ace pitcher that can give you many more quality IP.

Without further adieu…here we go!

Adolis Garcia (44) – Grey said it in the podcast with B-Don this week and it really should be a big part of any second half list. “Second half rankings lean more on what a guy has done versus what they should do…” (and that’s me quoting Grey!). Adolis has been one of those underappreciated kinds of OF this year. For anyone paying close enough attention (a.k.a. you!), Adolis isn’t exactly under the radar, but his 15 HR and 13 SB from the first half should point to more of the same for the second half. The 28.5 K% is a bit scary, but Grey’s projection of 34/14/41/.245/10 in 279 ABs would definitely help give a boost to counting stats if others in your league value him as a 4th or 5th OF on their roster.

Franmil Reyes (99) – This is all about that one big category boost. At 6’5” and 265 lbs, Franmil definitely has the big part covered. He’s another player that missed nearly a month from the end of May and underwhelmed with 8 first half homers, but could lead the league in HR in the second half. The hard hit % and exit velocity numbers are still there. If Franmil can bring his 39.9% K rate back anywhere near his career rate (30.9%), he could be a difference maker to help you make up points in HR and RBIs (just make sure to insulate the AVG first).

Ramon Laureano (100) – This is one that I had wanted to write up based on a few points alone. Missed time in the first half? Check. Underperformed on his return? Check. Potential to contribute in multiple hitting categories? Check. Potentially traded into a better situation at the deadline? Big check. Ramon rode the bad boy bus through all of April and the first week of May because of a PED suspension, but still managed to hit 9 HR and steal 9 bags in 253 ABs. At the very least, he’s a similar player to Adolis with the potential to contribute across the board. At best, he’s one of the first out the door from the A’s fire sale and is dealt to a behemoth like the Yankees or the Dodgers (or a few others looking for OF help). This could mean a huge second half atop a much better lineup. 10+ HR, 10+ SB, and a ton of runs scored wouldn’t be out of reach if they put Ramon on the first bus out of Oakland on August 2nd.

Esteury Ruiz (102ish) – I’m going to save the ocean-meets-the-river pun for a future DFS article, but this is one of those players that can single-handedly help you recover some points in the SB race over the second half. Think back to March when everyone was hyping Myles Straw and now insert a multi-eligible (OF/2B) player that has an MiLB stat line (AA/AAA total) of 84 R, 13 HR, 46 RBI, and 60 SB. I don’t think he reaches that minor league 1.028 OPS in MLB, but this is the kind of player that can shoot up rankings with playing time and the green light on the base paths over the second half of the year.

Brandon Lowe (NR) – Ok. This was one omission from Grey’s second half top 100 that ruffled some figurative feathers and got a couple of commenters hot under the collar. Before we get into the numbers, this pick is all about the risk vs reward. Can Brandon Lowe ‘back’ into 15-20 homers in the second half? Absolutely. Can he provide a big boost in RBIs, runs scored and maybe reinforce the batting average category? Yes, he could do that too. BUT…is there also a huge risk that we see him for a week or two and then lose him to the back injury that shelved him for two months. YES. This one is all about how comfortable you are with taking that risk and what you have as your backup plan should his back problems resurface. 6-for-8 with 2XBH in his first two games since the injury is encouraging, but this isn’t a sprained pinkie finger we’re talking about here. 

Brandon Drury (NR) – Speaking of Brandons, and back injuries, there were some that assumed that Drury was a natural All-Star replacement for Jazz Chisholm after the latter had to bow out with a right lower back strain. Drury was passed over for Jake Cronenworth and missed the top 100 for the second half as well. With 18 HR, 52 RBI, 56 R, and a .278 average, he’s due for some regression for sure, but don’t forget about him if you need a multi-eligible bat and other members of your league are looking to make a move.

Robbie Ray (50) – First off, I will say that it’s tough to project SP for the second half as far as how they’ll be able to help your roto teams. Relievers are not worth the price in trades unless you can make up some serious points in a three or four way tie in that category. Throw in the ever-revolving door of the closer carousel and it becomes even more difficult to justify paying up for an RP. However, with K’s and ratios to improve, you can always feel better about rolling the dice on those top flight SP. Robbie Ray hasn’t exactly been a top 3 SP, but he’s one of the two that I’ll list here as someone that could help you insulate your strikeout category and (hopefully) bring those ratio numbers down. More importantly, he shouldn’t cost nearly as much in your league as a McClanahan or Gerrit Cole would. I came across a tweet the other day that listed off the top 10 pitchers with the most swing and misses with a fastball since June 1st. At the top of that list was Ray with 86 (9.8%). And to think I went this whole paragraph without mentioning his pants! Wait…

Dylan Cease (58) – Something else to mention here is that I know how easy it is to pick and choose from the top of any pitching list. What I tried to do here was not take the obvious aces and lean towards those that will help you but not cost an arm and a leg in the trade market. This was one reason why I chose Cease as a second target. Are there sexier names in Spencer Strider, Carlos Rodon, Justin Verlander, and Clayton Kershaw? Of course. But I’d rather roll the dice on someone without a history of fatigue or the threat of a shutdown to manage innings. Grey has him projected for 5 wins, 3.06 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 98 K’s and I think this is as best a bet as there is to challenge Cole for the second half AL strikeout title.

The bottom line here is this: take a look at your league standings, figure out where you can gain the most points (or where opponents above you can lose some points), and make some trade offers that not only help you make up some ground, but also potentially help your league mates to take points away from any of the teams that you are chasing.

To paraphrase the guys from the pod and add my own 2 cents, second half numbers are all about the balance of what players have proven, the track record from past production, and the anticipation of what they’ll do the rest of the year. Take that, then bake in regression and injury risk, and you have a better idea of who to target in your trade talks.

Best of luck in the second half! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @MarmosDad!